This was originally posted in November 2007. Lots of good food for thought and ideas in the comments! If you are a long-time reader, you might find it interesting to see what you wrote four years ago. And feel free to continue to add new comments that might encourage someone else. Enjoy!
There is one area in my life where I do not wish to practice simplifying and downsizing. It is Christmas.
I can tell you all the reasons why it is good to do a simple Christmas, why giving less gifts is good, why Christmas isn’t about the gifts, blah, blah, blah. But the fact of the matter is that I love a good blowout of gift giving at Christmas.
Now blowout is a relative term. I’m not talking thousands of dollars and I’m not talking about debt. I’m just talking about piles and piles of gifts under the tree that are carefully selected, gorgeously wrapped, under the tree for at least two or three weeks, and paid for in full.
One of my primary love languages is gifts – both the giving and the receiving. And nothing disappoints me like not being able to give gifts when I want to either because I can’t afford it or the person has indicated they no longer desire to exchange gifts.
We’ve had a couple of much leaner Christmases the past two years and frankly it wasn’t a whole lot of fun. Call me shallow if you want, but I found it took a lot of joy out of the season to not be able to give freely as I have in the past.
Right now we are discussing how much to spend on Caroline and what kind of gifts to buy her. I’ve heard all sorts of theories about Christmas gifts. I remember someone writing that they never give their children “necessities” for Christmas like underwear, books, etc. because they should provide those things for their children anyway. They felt that Christmas gifts should be about special things that the children normally wouldn’t receive.
I remember someone else suggesting giving five gifts and they were something like A Gift of Faith, A Gift of Love, A Gift of Warmth, A Gift of Joy, etc. So the gift of joy was something the person really wanted, the gift of faith was something related to faith, etc. I thought that was a neat idea although I’m not sure I would want to be bound to the same five topics each year.
So how do you “do” Christmas gifts in your family?